The Palaces Of Carrara

When I was young I had a marble collection. Now I’m older, and I still like to collect marble… only now it’s marble made of wood. And it spins. On a disc. And it comes in a variety of colours and values. You use it to construct buildings in this game… this game that I just can’t stop talking about. Let me tell you about it!

In The Palaces Of Carrara, players spend their turns performing exactly one action. You’re either collecting marble, building buildings, or scoring. Sounds easy, right? That’s what I said too! Not so fast, Vitruvius.

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Robinson Crusoe

“It is never too late to be wise.”
― Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe

That famous quote from Robinson Crusoe is a poignant in life, but it becomes a little less realistic in Ignacy Trzewiczek’s boardgame Robinson Crusoe: Adventure on the Cursed Island when you only have twelve turns to keep yourself from starving to death. This is a game that requires you to make wise decisions early on, and punishes you dearly for making incorrect ones. It’s a game that lavishes you with a variety of options, but teases you with the inability to select more than a meagre handful of them. Practicing your wisdom a little too late is how you die on this breathtaking deserted island.

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Niya

“Love is a game
of tic-tac-toe,
constantly waiting
for the next x or o.”
― Lang Leav

In the past couple of years Bruno Cathala has quickly become one of my favourite modern boardgame designers. He’s incredibly prolific. In the past year alone (and I haven’t played most of these yet) he’s released Five Tribes, Abyss, Dragon Run, Madame Ching, Desperados of Dice Town, Cyclades: Titans, and Haru Ichiban. You’d be forgiven if you missed one of his titles along the way.

So is the case for me and Niya, a little game designed by Cathala and published by Blue Orange Games, most famous for their line of Spot It! titles. Published in 2012, this small game flew right by my radar, but is it worth circling back and investigating?

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Can’t make it to GenCon?

How did GenCant happen?

The morning before GenCon 2014 lifted off, I felt a bit under the weather. I wasn’t going to make it to the event, and I was a bit depressed by that. I knew that there were likely a bunch of others who weren’t going to make it also, but… wait – that’s it!

I posted a tweet to find out who else wasn’t going, and asked them to retweet if they weren’t, and within only a few minutes, @425suzanne responded with the now infamous “GenCant” line. The rest was history. Hundreds of retweets happened, and we birthed the #GenCant2014 movement from the comfort of our computers. It was so appropriate.

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